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Movie review: ‘Dumbo’ remake goes sky-high with family entertainment

Will this live-action Disney remake of the classic 1941 Disney animated feature make you laugh? Yes, it will. Will it make you cry? You bet! And because it’s directed by Tim Burton – a man of many fantastical movie ideas – you’ll probably also gawk in wonder at some of the astounding visuals.

But it should be made clear that Burton and his screenwriter Ehren Kruger have done what you’re supposed to do with a remake. They’ve completely reimagined the original. So, there are trappings of the 1941 film: A cute and clumsy little elephant with huge ears that enable him to fly, almost everyone making fun of his appearance, a forced separation from his mom, psychedelic visions of pink elephants, some perilous scenes in a circus tent, and a happy ending. There is a mouse (I think named Timothy), but he’s only onscreen for a minute or two and is not, as in the original, a helpful pal for our big-eared hero. PC police will be thrilled to know there isn’t a “racist” crow to be seen.

But there are people, lots of people. This is more a story of people and their troubles and hopes and dreams than it is about a flying elephant.

It’s 1919, and the smalltime, old-fashioned Medici Brothers Circus is making its way across the middle of America by train. Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) has just come home from WWI after being away for two years. A lot has happened while he was gone. His wife, who was his performing partner in the circus’ trick riding act, has died of the flu. The struggling circus has had to sell its horses. His two young kids have been taken in and cared for by their circus family. The poor guy has returned to a tough emotional

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